Many businesses utilize Microsoft devices in their supply chains and operations. But Microsoft is phasing out all of their rugged handheld devices. Starting from 2018 until 2023, Windows will end operating system upgrades, security enhancements, bug patches, and more for a variety of devices. Migrating to Android is often the best replacement for any business.

The End of Windows Embedded

The drop in service, also dubbed “end of life” or “end of support,” accounts for most rugged systems in use today, including Windows CE and other Windows Embedded Handheld devices.

Below are some of the end of life dates:

Device Official End-of-Life Date
Windows Embedded CE 6.0 04/10/2018
Windows Embedded 8.1 Handheld 06/09/2019
Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5 01/14/2020
Windows Embedded Compact 7 04/13/2021
Windows Embedded Compact 2013 10/10/2023


Migrating to Android in advance will ensure you can fix issues, rebuild custom software, and get employees up to speed so you never miss a beat.

Android’s Advantages Over Windows

We strongly suggest migrating to Android for a multitude of reasons. Employees often already know how to use Android devices; the learning curve is practically non-existent when compared to Windows devices.

Android is also secure, robust, and versatile. It has a massive third-party developer community that supports open-source development, which means Google isn’t going to stop supporting Android anytime soon. And because it’s easy to pick up for developers, creating cross-platform solutions is easier and less expensive than other alternatives.

Migrating to Android OS also offers unparalleled business analytics integration. You can optimize your supply chains with current data and make an impact on operations immediately. And if you rely heavily on Microsoft apps, don’t worry—Microsoft will continue to support all 106 apps it owns in the Play Store.

Planning Your Migration

We’ll give you expert insight into how to choose devices. Afterward, if you’re still overwhelmed by the options, contact SK&T. We’re a total solutions provider, so we’ll set you up for success from the manufacturer, to the warehouse, and all the way to the customer.

First, take inventory of your devices that are approaching end of support. Next, figure out what unique features you’re currently using in your Windows handheld devices. Is there anything that’s custom-coded into your workflow? Do you primarily rely on two or three specific features?

Last but not least, account for new features you need or would like to have. Do your devices need barcode scanners? On-the-go printing? The ability to take customer signatures? Take note of everything.

The Top Choice: Zebra Devices

After gathering preliminary information, start looking around for new devices that could seamlessly replace the ones you’re using right now.

Here are some of the most popular devices:

  • Rugged Devices
    • Zebra TC70 and TC75
  • Ultra-Rugged Devices
    • Zebra MC9200
    • Zebra TC8000
  • Retail-grade Devices
    • Zebra TC55
    • Zebra TC70 and TC75


One of SK&T’s biggest industry partners is Zebra Technologies, which provides high-quality devices that are designed to endure years of heavy use. We even have a Trade-In program with Zebra, where we’ll get you up to $650 back for each device you replace with Zebra.

You can choose barcode scanning-enabled devices, portable printer devices, and much more. Zebra’s Android devices offer large screens, portrait and landscape orientation, and an easy-to-learn UI. Their products emphasize efficiency, lowering waste from printing labels, and saving money.

Set Yourself up for Migration Success

Planning your migration can be arduous, but failing to migrate before your Windows devices lose support can drive up costs exponentially. Beginning early can generate a huge return on your investment.

Focus on the future rather than the initial investment costs. With this migration, take the initiative to improve other facets of your business. Maintaining this holistic perspective will help keep your technology evergreen.

With over 20 years of experience across numerous verticals, SK&T is the expert you need for a smooth migration to Android. We provide a host of solutions across a variety of verticals, including healthcare, manufacturing, retail, and much more. Our in-house experts compare your unique situation to others in the industry to construct a seamless migration plan.

Reach out today to optimize a brighter future for your business.